[The Story] Different Than Me

Can we truly write any character without referring, even tangentially, to personal or professional experience? No matter how fantastic, bizarre, or false a character’s actions may seem to us, they are still rooted in some level of perception of our reality. Even filtered post-collaboration, most characters still represent certain unshakeable authorial archetypes of personality. Let’s explore how similar John [center] and Trishna [right] might be to me as their character arcs develop in “The Story.”

Spoilers?: Minor (character development/exploration)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW ORIGINAL CHARACTERS ARE LIKE MOONS ORBITING THE GRAVITY FIELDS OF EXISTING CHARACTER PLANETS…? OR WAS THAT TOO ABSTRACT? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Incubating The Scene

Like a brainstorming incubus pinning me down when I am in a half-dazed stupor, many scenes from “The Story” will appear as vestiges of memories appearing more vivid than many memories I’ve actually experienced. I’ve never experienced anything quite like what happened here to John, right, in a pneumonia-induced daze, with Trishna desperately trying to keep him warm. I just know that when I’m in that half-dazed slumber, this memory or scene will often appear:

Spoilers?: “Minor” (pre-narrative scene building)
WANNA CONSIDER THE BALANCE BETWEEN ACTING AND PREPARING TO ACT? AND HOW I GAUGE WHEN I’M READY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Shave and Bathe

Now that I’m writing bi-weekly updates to “The Story,” I dredged up an interesting realization: why not write about some of the scenes that float through my imagination? It’ll be good practice for the real thing! Throwing characters into hypothetical situations can help build context for how they’ll act in other scenes. Like a movie playing on repeat, what if these scenes are already swimming around in your imagination? Let’s start with an innocent one:

Spoilers?: Minor (rough scene walkthrough)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW THE MORE YOU WORK ON A PROJECT, THE MORE THE PROJECT GROWS SEEMINGLY BY ITSELF? THEN ISN’T IT A MATTER OF SHAVING THE EXCESS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Frequenting Zbigniew’s Teriyaki

If my ambitions for “The Story” include comprehensive commentaries on the nature of our reality, how much nuance should go into those commentaries? A thoroughly-built restaurant might evoke patron conversations idly chatting over the fine flatware or reveal restaurateuring price negotiations for finer flatware. The narrative should always guide the focus. It’d waste your time and my effort if Trishna (left) and John (right) only visited Zbigniew’s (center) Teriyaki once. But if they go frequently…?

Spoilers?: Minor (worldbuilding, character development)
WANNA CONSIDER BALANCING WOLRDBUILDING DETAIL BASED ON THE NARRATIVE WEIGHT OF THE LOCATION? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Adoptability of Homelessness

“Do you have 50 cents you could spare this afternoon?[1]” “Yeah, sure… You hanging in there alright?[2]” I gave him all my change, 8 cents, and one dollar more. “Thank you. Yeah, I am.[1]” The man wearing a dirty hoodie in the dry heat walked off, looking disbelieved over money. Life in “The Story” isn’t easier than our own. John (left) had periods of teenage homelessness before being “adopted” into Trishna’s (right) life. Can we adopt everyone?

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (worldbuilding, rant piece) WANNA CONSIDER AN UNCOMFORTABLE TOPIC AND MAYBE HOW WE CAN WORK TOWARD MAKING IT MORE COMFORTABLE FOR EVERYONE? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Aspirations of Homesickness

How much would you sacrifice to make your aspirations possible? How important is your comfort? As we grow older, there’s a growing sense of wanting more from life. For Trishna (right), she wants to go to college to fulfill her dreams and become independently successful, well, along with John (left), yet part of that means leaving her retiring service dog Pollyanna (center) and family at home. How might that answer be addressed in “The Story?”

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character exploration) WANNA CONSIDER HOW MUCH SACRIFICE THEY AND WE GIVE TO ACHIEVE OUR ASPIRATIONS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Loving “The Scene”

I’ve been procrastinating on writing “The Story” because I can’t write concisely nuanced enough yet to do it all justice. There’s an early scene codenamed “The Scene” that drives Trishna (right) and family three hours away to collect John (left). “The Scene,” and therefore “The Story,” would fall flat if I wrote it today. I don’t know when, or if, I’ll develop that skill. Loving the time until then is the only way to succeed.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Major (plot exploration) WANNA READ ABOUT HOW WE MUST LOVE WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO DO IT WELL? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Years of Adversity

How many years of adversity would you endure to achieve your goals? Constant jeering, doubt from everyone you know, and a growing sense that regardless of how much effort you put into trying to overcome your current situation, survive, and profoundly thrive, carving out a niche for yourself, that it’s possible it won’t happen? John (left) and Trishna (right) will face adversity frequently in “The Story.” How will they- and we- endure to ensure victory?

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character building) WANNA CONSIDER HOW KNOWING IF IT MIGHT TAKE 20 YEARS TO SUCCEED, KNOWING THE FINISH LINE WILL HELP ENDURING ADVERSITY FEEL THAT MUCH SWEETER? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Ten Dollar Coupon

“Are there any sales or discounts going on?[1]” “Yeah… I can see about giving you ten dollars off.[2]” If “The Story” is essentially analogous to the real world, and John [leftmost] and Trishna [left] are attempting their best to navigate the world without getting screwed over, how would they – and we – go about it? John learned half of an effective strategy for negotiation implied in the quote above and Trishna learned the other half. Together?

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character building) WANNA FIND THE ANSWER? WELL, I’M REFERRING TO IT AS POLITE DECISIVENESS. WHAT IS IT? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Trusting A Liar

It’s hard dealing with people in an idyllic world. If someone is rude in a polite world, it’s unfathomable! If you’ve encountered enough personal or professional experiences where people cheat their way to victory, then you can spot it quickly. “The Story” – an amalgamation of our world, truths, fiction, and imagination – is not idyllic. How readily can Trishna (left) and John (center) handle or even utilize liars, cheaters, and comical villains like Dr. Mindbender (right)?

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character psychology) WANNA READ A CAUSAL STUDY OF LIARS? ALONG WITH SOME CHARACTER-BUILDING PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!